Albatrosses. Gliders of the storms. So elusive, so powerful. In 2018 I traveled to Simons Town (South Africa) to board a ship that would take me to their realm, about 25 kms out at sea. What we witnessed was an explosion of sea birds and huge albatrosses that came close to the boat. You could literally hear their aerodynamics as they surfed on the wind above our heads. Even here, they struggle to survive from the consequences of human impacts. Catastrophic numbers of these seabirds are dying from longlines bycatch, swallowing loads of plastic, oil spills and climate change in general. 15 of the 22 albatross species are now threathened with extinction. Albatrosses are long lived and slow breeding birds, so their numbers are particularly hard hit by deaths in fisheries.
The proceeds of this artwork will go to The Albatross Task Force, an international team of seabird bycatch mitigation experts led by the RSPB and BirdLife International. They work tirelessly around the world to reduce bycatch during longline fishery sessions in our oceans. As time moves on, more and more success stories related to these efforts are showing around the world!